West African Examination Council Selects Sierra Leonean Author Pede Hollist’s Novel ‘So the Path Does Not Die’ for Curriculum

West African Examination Council Selects Sierra Leonean Author Pede Hollist’s Novel ‘So the Path Does Not Die’ for Curriculum

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has recently added “So The Path Does Not Die”, a seminal feminist work by Sierra Leonean writer Pede Hollist, to its recommended African prose list. This year, the book was republished by Narrative Landscape Press, having first been released in 2008.

The narrative of “So The Path Does Not Die” is a poignant exploration of the distressing practice of female circumcision. The protagonist, Fina, is haunted by her past long after she has left Sierra Leone for America. Her desire to correct the centuries-old tradition that has affected countless young girls eventually leads her back to Sierra Leone, a journey she never anticipated. The latest edition by Narrative Landscape was published on February 26 of this year.

The inclusion of Hollist’s novel in the WAEC’s Literature-in-English texts for 2026-2030 is significant. Each year, around 500,000 students register for the West African Senior Certificate examinations in Literature-in-English. Students must select from two options per genre, implying that “So The Path Does Not Die” will be read by an estimated 250,000 students. Consequently, Narrative Landscape Press anticipates a surge in the novel’s sales across all formats.

Dr Eghosa Imasuen, the director of business development at Narrative Landscape Press, expressed his excitement about the inclusion of Hollist’s novel. He believes it will greatly enhance African students’ education in African literature:

We have admired Pede Hollist’s work since his story was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2013. We are proud that the examining body recognized the merit of this novel and chose to present it to a generation of African students as an exemplary study of African prose.

This is a significant milestone for Sierra Leonean literature, and we are thrilled that the WAEC has decided to include this incredible feminist novel in its list of African prose.

Pede Hollist, a Sierra Leone native, is an associate professor of English at The University of Tampa, Florida. His research centers on the literature of the African imagination—literary expressions both in the African continent and in the African Diaspora. “So The Path Does Not Die” is his debut novel. His short story “Foreign Aid” was shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing.

The novel is now available for purchase. You can get your copy here.

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